Nigeria’s federal capital, Abuja, offers a new perspective on Africa’s most populous nation.
Travelling to Abuja from any part of the world could be an interesting adventure. The Federal Capital Territory is the Nigerian seat of government and its beautiful, serene landscape is usually what attracts first-time visitors.
Until recently, it was largely perceived as a city primarily for government employees and business people, who usually left it empty on weekends as they travelled to other big cities like Lagos, Port Harcourt or Kaduna to see their families. What most people like about Abuja is its tranquillity and roads, which are normally – and blissfully! – free of traffic.
Abuja was purposefully established in 1976 with the intention of resolving tension between political and religious spheres, as well as creating a central capital and relieving overcrowding in Lagos. It was made the official capital city of Nigeria on 12 December 1991. The city was built on a variety of granite slopes, making for interesting geological sites. Among the most well-known are Aso Rock and Zuma Rock. The Three Arms Zone is inspired by Washington D.C.’s Capitol Hill and this is where you’ll find the National Assembly, the Presidential Villa and the Supreme Court.
Art and Culture
Travellers can head to the Bwari Pottery Centre for a feel of authentic Nigerian culture. The attractions for visitors are its striking design of palm-thatched roofs and arrowhead-shaped windows, plus a studio set out like a gallery. Besides watching the potters at work, you can also view and buy their finished products, such as pitchers, vases, casserole dishes, teapots and decorative lanterns. The centre is situated close to the Nigeria Law School on Old Suleja Rd, Bwari. Don’t forget to get your taste of traditional food, including spicy and jollof rice, fried rice and catfish are common dishes at many of the capital’s restaurants.
Compiled By: Melissa Jane Cook. Source By: Megan Whittington & Funke Osae-Brown.